I don’t know when I first encountered this soup. My father grew up in southern Arizona, so my family was constantly on the lookout for good Mexican food in our area. More than a few places we frequented over the years served small, hot bowls of caldo de pollo, heady with cilantro and augmented with softening chips as a welcome. The small, spicy, herbaceous soup became a favorite, and though I haven’t had it at a restaurant in years, it still brings back memories.
In these trying days, this recipe is particularly great because it can make use of odds and ends – some extra chicken, veg, etc, allowing you to stretch that packed larder a little further, and turneven leftovers into a great meal.
Chicken Tortilla SoupCourse: SoupsCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy
This quick and hearty soup is great on it’s own, or as part of a full mexican feast.
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
4 cups chicken stock
1 large jalapeno pepper
4 Roma tomatoes
½ bunch cilantro
1 medium onion
½ tsp chipotle chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups unflavored tortilla chips
1 avocado, cored and sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
- Add chicken stock, chili powder, garlic, stems from the cilantro, 2 of the tomatoes, and ½ onion to a pot.
- Add the chicken thighs, and bring to a low simmer, cooking until the chicken is falling from the bone, 30-45 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the stock, and allow it to cool until it can be handled.
- Discard the skin, and shred the meat with your fingers.
- Crush the cooked tomatoes, and strain the stock before returning to the stove.
- Bring back to a low simmer.
- Chop most of the cilantro finely, reserving a few leaves for garnish.
- Cut the remaining 2 tomatoes into 8 pieces each.
- Slice the onion into long, radial strips. Slice the jalapeno into ⅛-inch coins, discarding the tips and stems.
- Add the shredded chicken, chopped cilantro, jalapenos, onions and tomatoes to the soup. Cool until the onions are just softened.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that if your tortilla chips are salted, you may want to use less to season.
- To serve, add a handful of tortilla chips to each bowl, ladle soup over the chips doing your best to ensure that each bowl gets peppers, onions, and chicken, and squeeze a lime wedge into the soup.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves and some sliced avocado.
Be sure to check out my other food project, The Weekly Menu!